If it takes Linnie Stacey a while to get to the phone, don’t worry that you might be waking her from a nap or otherwise disturbing her rest. Odds are, she’s in the kitchen of her Monroe County home, in the middle of frosting a cake, kneading dough, putting up preserves or otherwise making something down-home delicious for others to enjoy.
That’s just Miz Linnie for you. All her life, she’s found pure joy in preparing mouth-watering foods for folks in her neck of the woods. And so what if she’s 90 years old? You’re as young as you feel, and Miz Linnie feels like she’s got a whole lot of cooking left to do.
The mother of 10, Miz Linnie had ample opportunity to hone her cooking skills back in her younger days. Those younguns knew their mama was one fine cook. But it was when she became a “Lunchroom Lady” at the school in Excel that knowledge of her talents spread. Miz Linnie was the roll maker. For 18 years, two or three times a week, she’d bake hundreds of her special, melt-in-your-mouth, yeast rolls that turned school lunchtime into a fine dining experience.
“I mean, they loved those rolls,” Miz Linnie says. “I see some of those students today, and they still talk about my rolls.”
No matter what Miz Linnie makes, people love it. She’s just a flat-out great cook. Last year, Excel Church of the Nazarene published a cookbook and dedicated it to the congregation’s oldest living member, calling her “an inspiration to all who know her, and a true example of Christ-likeness.” The whole first section is devoted to Miz Linnie’s best-loved recipes. And we’re sharing a few of Miz Linnie’s cookbook recipes with you in this month’s “Country Kitchen.”
Miz Linnie actually turns 90 on April 5, but the super celebration will come three days later, when her family honors her with a reception that’s apt to draw half the county.
“Oh, we’re gonna have a ball,” Miz Linnie was predicting weeks before the big event. “I’ll get to see EVERYbody!”
Here’s to Miz Linnie and to 90 rich and wonderful years of goodness and kindness to others.